Treating Tinnitus

Bothered by nonstop whooshing or ringing in your ears—or know someone who is? Check out this promising new remedy.

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Millions of Americans with hissing, whooshing, or ringing ears may find relief with daily supplements of pine bark extract, according to research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Panminerva Medica.

Findings by the Italian research team report that taking 150 mg of brand name Pycnogenol once day for 4 weeks relieved ear noise, or tinnitus, better than taking 100 mg of the extract or none at all. No side effects were observed.

People with tinnitus perceive sounds that don’t actually exist, a problem that science suggests is linked to poor circulation to the inner ear. Earlier research shows that Pycnogenol (pik NahJ en al)contains substances that might improve blood flow and stimulate the immune system.

“Impaired blood flow to the ear is a common cause for tinnitus, a disturbing and very debilitating condition that can considerably impact overall health and quality of life,” said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher on the study with his team from Chieti-Pescara University. “With few options available for treatment, this study gave us the opportunity to explore a natural solution to tinnitis symptoms and its causes.”

No two individuals describe tinnitus in exactly the same way. Using fans or a “white noise” machine helps mask the often progressive problem that can interfere with sleep, concentration, and mood.

Some sufferers report success with a daily 200 mg dose of gingko biloba, another nonprescription and widely available product sold online and in retail stores. But it doesn’t work for everyone.


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  1. Approximately 2-3 million Americans experience tinnitus in a severe chronic and debilitating form that interferes with sleep concentration and the ability to perform effectively in the workplace. Both within and beyond the cochlear nucleus these readjustments were found to tip the normal balance of excitatory and inhibitory inputs to neurons toward the side of excitation.


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